William Wilkerson, Scout.com

"You have to have more heart than that"

Longhorns senior wide receiver Daje Johnson spoke open and honestly about several topics on Tuesday. Take a look at what he said.

We in the media don’t get the opportunity to interview Daje Johnson too often, but when we do we definitely sit up in our chairs a little bit more.

In the times that he has spoken with us he’s been completely up front and honest, almost to the point where you felt Texas’ media relations staff holding their breath waiting for his couple of minutes to be over with.

Daje was back at it again on Tuesday and he did not disappoint, speaking open and honestly about a wide variety of topics.


On the move to make Jay Norvell the offensive play-caller:


“Coach [Shawn] Watson is a great coach, great offensive coordinator. But I know that Coach [Charlie] Strong is trying to move forward with the program as quickly as possible so he’s going to be making changes. I know Coach Norvell and feel like he is a great coach. He just wants to see what can work.”




On Norvell’s coaching personality:


“He’s real vocal. He’s a big guy on effort. He wants to see positive work throughout the whole offense. He loves to put his voice in and let each position know what they need to do to get better. He doesn’t just focus on the receivers. He’ll go talk to the OL and give them tips, the QBs, pretty much everybody on the offense.”




On if he is more excited now that Norvell is calling plays because the thought is he’ll try to get the ball into the hands of his best playmakers, like Johnson:


“Coach Watson has been doing that also, so no disrespect toward him. But Coach Norvell is going to try to do it even more.”




On if the team truly understands the magnitude of this situation, reassigning coaching responsibilities after one game:


“Everybody understands. When I first heard about it, that’s why I mentioned they are trying to move this in the right direction as quickly as possible. We understand the pressure that the offense, the whole team has. We are trying to move it forward.”




On if he saw this move happening:


“I didn’t see it coming.”



On the creativity Norvell has already brought to the practice field:


“He’s been very creative. He started out with the tennis balls and then added the quarterbacks in with us to get extra work. After practice he’ll bring the QBs over and we’ll work on red zone stuff or go over specific plays we’ll run against Rice.”




On how Tuesday’s practice went:


“Practice, it was kind of like what you would expect after a loss like that. Everybody was just kind of down on themselves. The coaches were trying to pick up the players. There were a lot of banged up players too, a lot of people weren’t practicing.”




On if he has been surprised at how bad Texas has played offensively over the last three games:


“From this game I thought we were going to go out and blow out Notre Dame. I’m not going to say any names but a lot of the players on the team don’t really feel like that. A lot of players, once a team with a high caliber comes in and plays, we might not have the chance. They start buying into what the media says about us and the chances of winning. They buy into that and are not buying in to how much we can actually win.”




Elaborating on his last response:


“I remember when they first scored I saw a lot of players already down on themselves. You have to have more heart than that.”




More on offensive struggles the last three games:


“As far as the past, with Arkansas and TCU, Coach Strong is still in the process of building the team up. He’s still is now. The OL, Coach Strong he got here and he had the OL from Coach Brown and he didn’t know he would have to dismiss those two players [Believe he was talking about Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle], and they could have been first round draft picks. So once he dismissed those two he had to start over and stuff.”



On the QB situation:


“Right now I feel like it’s still even competition and the better player will play. Before I feel like they were competing but was giving the edge to Swoopes. Now the better player is going to play.”




On if Tyrone Swoopes is the guy for the job:





“I’m not sure yet. I don’t know. “

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